An Update from our Compliance and Replication Officer, Dr. Carletta Stewart

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Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

While I have introduced myself to the whole community via our STEM Welcome Videos, I wanted to take this opportunity to formally introduce myself. I am Dr. Carletta Stewart and I joined the STEM team two months ago as the Replication and Compliance Officer at STEM. I am so excited to be a part of this amazing #STEMStrongerTogether Community.

A little bit about me:

I am a retired combat military leader, published author, and professional practitioner. I graduated with my advanced degree, Doctor of Education, Leadership for Educational Equity from the University of Colorado, Denver. My strong focus on STEM education and careers led to my publication titled, “The underrepresentation of women leaders in STEM.

I have served in several leadership roles and managed multiple Leadership Development Schools throughout the world e.g., Colorado, Alaska, and Mongolia. This included mentoring faculty and staff, implementation of the trainer program, creating standardized lesson plans, study guides and curriculum materials, directing all academic activities and ensuring policy compliance. I have provided leadership oversight for numerous organizations of more than 250 employees, overseeing daily operations with oversight of operational planning, organizational direction and coordination of work activities.

I am married and have an amazing son. I enjoy spending time with my family and exploring different parts of the world.

About my role at STEM:

My role in compliance is to ensure that STEM is meeting all of its requirements as it pertains to local, state and federal policies, processes and procedures. One thing that compliance is not, is a complaint department. If we ever work together in a compliance capacity, it is because all of the appropriate Communications Pathways have been exhausted and there is a policy or procedure that is being incorrectly applied.

You can find out more about Compliance at STEM once the page on our website is complete or you can always email compliance@stemk12.org.

My role as the replication officer is the more engaging and fun part of my job. I get to connect with you, members of our community, and members of our surrounding communities to get them excited about the KOSON Instructional Method of Problem-Based Learning. Replication is one of the key components of our STEM Strategic Plan.

You might be wondering what KOSON is. KOSON was developed by STEM staff members, students and community members a few years ago when STEM was going through a rebranding process. Prior to being named STEM School Highlands Ranch, our school’s name was STEM School and Academy and many believed that the name was confusing and didn’t capture what our school had to offer. Below is what the team came up with as they developed KOSON.

The word KOSON (pronounced (k ō ‘ s ŏ n), derives from concept of the HIGGS BOSON – an elementary particle in the universe that has forever changed how we understand life, science and the universe. We substituted the ‘K’ to reflect the KINETIC ENERGY of our uniquely engaging education model. In addition, KOSON is an ancient gold coin, reflecting the brilliance of our students and the exponential power of the earth’s most coveted element – gold. This also aligns with the current school colors of blue and gold. Like our students, our name has no definition. Our staff, students and parents make up who we are. We defy definition, because that’s what innovators do.

Replication is not going to be an easy task. One of the first steps is creating the Charter Management Organization (CMO), which will serve as the governing body/charter office for our flagship school (STEM School Highlands Ranch) and any future schools. Examples of this are KIPP Colorado Schools and DSST Public Schools.

The KOSON Network of Schools will be the governing body/Charter Office for all of our future schools. You may have noticed the KOSON Network sign at our P-TECH Building. That will be the future home of the main offices in a small portion of that building. We are currently exploring opportunities to replicate our KOSON brand within the Sterling Ranch community (DCSD) and the Denver community (DPS).

On Thursday, Dec. 2, we held our first Informational Session in Sterling Ranch to test the waters for interest. We had a very nice turnout and have been getting a steady influx of interested families signing up on our Interest Enrollment Form. We anticipate having additional Information Sessions in the months to come to answer more questions and explore additional interest.

Both applications will be due to their respective district offices in the Spring of 2022 with the goal of opening two campuses in the Fall of 2023 with limited grades to start. One of the components of our application is to include data from the community on their interest in having a STEM school in their neighborhood. We do this by holding Informational Sessions.

You might be wondering if and how all this will impact our flagship school. Our goal with replication is to enhance what we have here and offer the same opportunities to more students and educators who want to be innovators. Our replication efforts will not take away anything from our flagship school, rather it will expand our community to reach more students and families, creating a network of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, artists, computer scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs and more.

Dr Eucker dreams big and truly believes in the unlimited potential of our students and our staff and she wants to empower our entire community to be bold and bring the KOSON method to all communities.

I look forward to meeting you all and working together for KOSON for everyone!

Dr. Carletta Stewart

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